June 16, 2016 – On June 1, Dr. Mary Gromko, a long time science educator from Colorado began her one-year term as president of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
“We are thrilled to have Mary on board as president and we look forward to her applying her previous leadership and teaching knowledge, experience and expertise to help guide the association,” said NSTA Executive Director Dr. David Evans.
Gromko has been a devoted teacher and dedicated leader in the science education community for more than 40 years. She began her career in education as a high school chemistry teacher in Connecticut. After moving to Colorado, she continued to teach for the Academy School District in Colorado Springs. During that time, Gromko also served as an instructor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and the University of Denver. In 1989, after 17 years in the classroom, Gromko moved on to accept a position as the state science supervisor for the Colorado Department of Education. In 1999, she began working as the K-12 science supervisor for a large school district in Colorado Springs. Most recently, Gromko served as a coordinator for teacher professional development at the University of Colorado’s Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education. As the coordinator, she worked to implement STEM programs in grades K-16.
An NSTA member since 1983, Gromko has contributed extensively to the association. She was elected to the NSTA board as director of coordination and supervision. She also served as a district director twice (1988-1991 and 1997-2000); was the program chair for the 1993, 1997, and 2007 regional conferences in Denver; worked on numerous committees; and presented several sessions at NSTA national and area conferences.
In addition to her work and commitment to NSTA, Gromko is extremely active with other local, state, and national organizations and STEM initiatives. She has served as president (1997-1999), president-elect (1995-1997), and an executive board member (1993-1995) for the Council of State Science Supervisors; served as president of the Colorado Association of Science Teachers (1986-1988); served as the western regional secondary education coordinator for the American Chemical Society’s chemical education division (1984-1989); and chaired the western state science review team for the NAEP 2009 Science Frameworks. She has also worked on a number of advisory boards, including the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
During her distinguished career, Gromko has received a number of honors and awards. Her accomplishments include receiving NSTA’s Distinguished Service to Science Education Award (2014), American Chemical Society’s Recognition Award (2008), University of Northern Colorado’s Recognition and Appreciation to Science Education Award (2000), Colorado Association of Science Teacher’s Friend of Science Teaching Award and Distinguished Service to Science Education Award (1999 and 1989), U.S. Department of Energy Award Appreciation for Service to Science Education (1998), the Sigma Xi Award (1989), the Governor’s Award (1987), and the Colorado Department of Education’s Excellence in Teaching Award (1987), to name just a few. She was also named Professional Educator of the Year for the Colorado Springs School District 11 (2008), Colorado Department of Education’s Employee of the Year (1991), and American Chemical Society’s Colorado High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year (1985).
Gromko earned a B.A. degree in chemistry and a M.S. degree in science/chemistry and science education from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in curriculum and administration from the University of Denver.